Familial relationships are often ripe for dramatic conflict and a few sniffles, and Happy Tears positions itself as such. Jayne (Parker Posey) and Laura (Demi Moore) are sisters who visit their father Joe (Rip Torn), a perverted yet somehow charming old man suffering from a serious case of dementia. Like many movie siblings, they're polar opposites: Jayne is the spoiled younger sister who lives in La La Land; Laura is more practically minded and down to earth.
Their bond (and sometimes hatred) often feels real (hey, they even look like sisters!) and could have made for a nice, simple drama on its own. Instead, the film gets lost in the midst of imagined sequences in Jayne's mind, making you wonder what kind of film Happy Tears really is. A sweet drama? A dark comedy? An art house film? As one of the dream scenes takes a naked Jayne flying on a giant jellyfish, I found myself wishing that the film had just stayed grounded.
For more on what I mean, read more